Relationship Therapy: Working with Couples and Intimate Systems 2024/25

One of the greatest challenges many couples may face, over time, are imbalances that emerge between them. These may be in power, in leadership, in reciprocity, or the primacy of one individual’s family ‘norms’ over the other. 

What is often greatly overlooked in conventional couples therapy is the degree to which each individual in the relationship remains loyal towards their own family culture instead of co-creating a new culture together. By ‘norms’ we refer to the ‘right way’ of arranging life, including running a home. These are things so deeply ingrained in childhood so that it doesn’t occur to us that there are other ways of organising the contents of a fridge or deciding what to watch on TV. A relationship will function much more harmoniously if both people are willing to give up some of the habitual ways of their family of origin to meet on new territory and maintain balance.

Who is it this training for?

 The purpose of this training is to give participants the opportunity to extend their therapeutic or coaching practice to include working with couples or other two-person systems.

Participants will already have basic skills in working with individuals, and therefore the course focus is on the shifts and additional skills needed to be of help when working with couples.

The teaching is intended to help therapists and coaches ‘see’ and work with systems, including the three interacting systems that are alive in the room when working with couples or two-person systems, and the wider and deeper family systems that surround the couple and often emerge and influence in hidden ways.

We draw on both Gestalt theory as a basic orientation, and the systemic constellation philosophy that originates in the wisdom of traditional communities from around the world.

We will also focus on presence, and an understanding of the many common contexts that bring couples into therapy or the issues that arise in two person systems in organisation.


During the 4 modules you will develop…


A basic framework

  • The intimate relationship as a life journey, connecting two separate journeys.
  • An understanding of the changing tasks of a relationship over time.
  • An understanding of the cultural shifts in the institution of marriage.
  • A look at what a relationship is for, and what intimacy consists of.
  • Understanding of the perennial paradox between autonomy and communion

The process model of intervening

  • How a couple ‘dance’ together in real time in the room. This is a hugely helpful but challenging Gestalt model, and forms the practical basis of the therapeutic work or effective coaching interventions.
  • Positive framing, even-handedness, phenomenological tracking, setting up practice opportunities.

Systemic thinking and interventions

  • An understanding of the motivations and action, ways of managing exchange, culture, roles and beliefs, as they develop through personal loyalties and deeper systemic entanglements and burdens.
  • Moving the therapeutic focus between the present, the near past and the further past.
  • A basic understanding of the ordering forces that support the flow of love and intimacy and healthy partnership working.
  • Using the constellation process in the couple’s therapy room and healthy partnership working.

How to Apply for this Training

If you have trained with CSC you do not need to complete an application form. You can simply pay your deposit to start your journey.
If you have not trained with CSC, please complete the application form below and we will arrange a telephone interview with one of our course facilitators. The main criterion is that you must have a grounding in either counselling/therapy or systemic constellations.

For further information please email Hannah Cox at [email protected], or call +44 7929 313 976.


The full course fee is £2,660. A non-refundable deposit of £400 is payable to secure your place. Once the deposit is received, the remainder is due by the first module, or by monthly instalments. If you would like to take advantage of our early bird option, your course fee will be £2,400 if we receive your deposit by the 31 July 2024.

A small number of bursary places are available. Please contact us for further details.

Please note: CSC is a Not for Profit organisation and does not therefore charge VAT.

Course Dates 2024/25

This course includes 4 training modules which will be held online via Zoom.

The modules will run from 9.30 am-5.30pm on the following dates.

 Module 19-11 Oct 2024Wednesday – Friday
 Module 24-6 Dec 2024Wednesday – Friday
 Module 35-7 Feb 2025Wednesday – Friday
 Module 49-11 Apr 2025Wednesday – Friday

The Facilitators

This course will be led by Christopher Williams, BACP & UKCP, an internationally renowned trainer and couple’s therapist working with both Gestalt and Systemic approaches, and by Sheila McCarthy-Dodd (MBACP), a highly experienced constellation trainer and therapist. Bernd Leygraf, from the NAOS Institute, will be teaching a day on Sex Therapy.

This training was originally created and designed by Judith Hemming who drew on her extensive professional experience of working with couples.

Chris Williams (BACP)

Director of the Centre and a teaching faculty member. He has been working in the therapeutic field since 1990 and currently works as a Constellation Practitioner, Psychotherapist, Supervisor, Coach and Trainer. He is a UKCP registered gestalt psychotherapist and a senior accredited BACP counsellor, with a well-established practice in South London.



The course was well planned and delivered. All of the teachers were excellent

I am now more curious as to what is happening at any time between myself and my partner, and between other close couples

The course has made me more interested in couples, in working as a triad and the future of close relationships

The content, pace and exercises were all excellent. The couples that came in provided REALLY useful experiences.

Pay your deposit here

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